John Creasey: The Toff And The Stolen Tresses

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John Creasey The Toff And The Stolen Tresses
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    The Toff And The Stolen Tresses
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JOHN CREASEY

The Toff And The Stolen Tresses

Copyright Note

This e-book was created by papachanjo, with the purpose of providing a digitized format of the books written by John Creasey without the least intention of commercial gain of any sort. This e-book should hence be utilized for reading only and if you like it and can buy it, please do to support the publishers.

This book was scanned by a friend in America along with others.

I am trying to create at least an ample collection of all the John Creasey books which are in the excess of 500 novels. Having read and possess just a meager 10 of his books does not qualify me to be a fan but the 10 I read were enough for me to rake up some effort to scan and create these e-books.

If you happen to have any John Creasey book and would like to add to the free online collection which I’m hoping to bring together, you can do the following:

Scan the book in greyscale

Save as djvu — use the free DJVU SOLO software to compress the images

Send it to my e-mail: papachanjo@rocketmail.com

I’ll do the rest and will add a note of credit in the finished document.

from back cover

Three lovely heads have been shorn — long, silken hair has been cut off — and the Toff is faced with one of the most ingenious gangs of criminals that he has ever encountered. Clue after clue blazes a twisting and unexpected trail. And the Honourable Richard Rollison is drawn into an exciting climax deep in the heart of the East End, as he attempts to find a solution to the problem of the stolen tresses . . .

Table of Contents

 

Copyright Note

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

CHAPTER ONE

Goldilocks

“Sometimes I get so mad that I could have it cut off,” said Evelyn Day, “or else have it dyed jet black. No one ever calls out “Blackbird” to Anne, and she has just as much hair as I have.”

She was flushed. Her blue eyes sparkled because she was annoyed. She looked lovely. She made James Matthison Jones long to take her in his arms and hold and hug her, but he was a wise young man, and did not follow his inclination. He was tall as well as wise, and had a chunky kind of face and a look, even when he was serious, of drollery. Now he smiled at her.

“You’d rather cut off your hand than your hair,” he said.

“Oh, don’t talk such utter nonsense,” retorted Evelyn Day. “Sometimes I wonder what you have for a mind. The next man who calls me Goldilocks, I’ll—I’ll—”

“Goldilocks,” said Jimmy Jones, promptly. “It’s the loveliest hair I’ve ever seen, and I don’t care who calls you Goldilocks. I like to think that other people get a kick out of it, too.”

“I’m not surprised that you’re fond of hair,” said Evelyn, tartly. “You’ll be bald before you’re thirty.”

He was twenty-eight, and the prophecy was by no means baseless. He found his right hand smoothing over his bald patch. He did this for some time, while the laughter no longer lurked in but positively leapt out of his eyes.

“You’ve plenty for two,” he declared. “How about fixing a date before anyone can accuse me of marrying you for your hair?”

Her look of annoyance faded and the anger went out of her eyes, while she touched the back of his right hand very lightly. They were sitting at a table in the Embankment Gardens during a lunch time in late May, and the wallflowers and tulips, the forget-me-nots and the polyanthus made a wonderful show, the lunch-hour band was playing not far away, and London’s office workers were walking to and fro, only here and there was anyone in a hurry. All the seats along the paths were taken by people, young and old, eating sandwiches or fruit or chocolate. Behind them on the embankment proper the traffic was speeding, but there they seemed cut off from cars and river and the busy world.

“Jimmy,” Evelyn said, “I don’t want to hurt you, but I don’t think I’ll ever want to marry you. You know that really, don’t you?”

“You’ve suggested it before,” he conceded, and his smile didn’t fade, tut until you’re safely married off to your millionaire, I shall go on trying. The Joneses never give up.”

“You know very well I’m not interested in how much money—” Evelyn began, but he squeezed her hand and laughed, making her break off.

“Just my little joke,” he said, and finished his cup of tea. “Are you going for a stroll, or shopping?”

“I must buy some white wool for my sister, and I ought to get a few oddments,” Evelyn said, and glanced at the small gilt watch on her rounded wrist; she had very clear skin, and all her movements were graceful. “What are you going to do?”

The laughter and the drollery seemed to fade from Jim’s grey eyes.

“I am going to get a haircut,” he declared.

Evelyn burst out laughing. A dozen people were attracted, and turned to stare at her; most of them gave a quick, light-hearted smile. She looked happy. She was happy. As she hurried towards Villiers Street and the Strand, with Jim at her side, more people stared at her.

They reached the end of Villiers Street, and she said: “See you in the office, Jim,” and hurried off. He also watched her. She was one of the lucky ones, he told himself deliberately.

Face, figure, legs, ankles              and hair. He could never forget her hair, the most beautiful golden colour that hair could be, striking and remarkable, and when she let it down, it reached as far as her waist. In one hectic afternoon, not long ago, she had accepted a challenge from two fellows in the office, and had let it down; Jimmy Jones could remember to this moment how every smile vanished and everyone was silent, because of the beauty of that cascade of golden hair.

Goldilocks.

Of course, everyone called her that, and occasionally it riled her; today, two passing youths had made the comment, with a kind of Teddy Boy impudence which had sparked her to annoyance.

And led to another refusal.

James Matthison Jones watched Evelyn walking off at a good pace, and wondered what would happen to her. She had such dreams of romance—dreams at least as great as his. He hoped she wouldn’t marry a man older than herself, she was the type likely to appeal to them; not exactly soft and clinging, but possessed of a great simplicity and a kind of intense honesty. In fact, he told himself that although there were times when he positively ached to have and to hold her, it would probably be a mistake to marry her, even if she was so inclined; and she would never be.

In her simplicity was a certain simpleness, a very different thing. He had known her at the office for nearly three years now, and knew her limitations, just as he believed that he knew his. They didn’t really like the same things; hers was a television, his a-book-and-armchair temperament. But for a few years it would be wonderful, and in time Forget it.

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